Image of 13 1/2

13 1/2

Image of 13 1/2

Barr, known for her Anna Pigeon series, delivers a hair-raising thriller. When the paths of two strangers with broken pasts collide, it sets in motion a suspenseful journey that takes readers on a dark, edgy ride, filled with terror and violence, that both attracts and repels. When all the story strands come together, it packs a powerful punch.

In the early '70s, the state of Minnesota was shocked by the "Butcher Boy" crime, where a young child brutally murdered his own family. Around that time, to escape her nightmare childhood, 15-year-old Polly Deschamps ran away from Mississippi to New Orleans. When the Butcher Boy is released from jail on his 17th birthday, he heads south.

In present-day New Orleans, Polly, now a professor and mother of two, meets architect Marshall Marchand and his brother Danny. After a whirlwind courtship, Polly and Marshall marry, and soon Polly is disturbed by her husband's dark moods and by the control Danny seems to wield over Marshall. Are the brothers keeping a chilling secret from her? (VANGUARD, Oct., 320 pp., $25.95)
Reviewed by: 
Sandra Garcia-Myers